Shopping (MP) If your family is anything like ours — you’re fed up with cable TV’s high-cost plans and poor customer service. But switching companies isn’t the answer as cable providers have divided territories leaving absolutely no-competition (cable) within their prospective markets.
The fact remains, folk’s are sick of the money-grubbing cable companies and their high-priced packages. Though companies such as Google, Intel, Sony and Apple have either come out or are working on Internet-delivery TV platforms, none have yet secured the content deals needed to launch a credible service. So, what can we do?
Alternatives to Cable TV
Alternatives to cable do exist, says Julie Gichuru, a research specialist in broadband and entertainment. “About 90% of Americans have access to satellite TV (such as Dish and DirecTV). About 40% get access to noncable providers such as Verizon that launch their personal networks in markets where cable already existed. Then there’s online services such as Netflix and Hulu offer movies and TV shows to subscribers, no cable box required,” she adds. The only real problem is Netflix and Hulu can’t offer us live streams. But, now there’s…
The Sling TV Invasion
Enter Sling TV, a product that offers live TV over the internet, at a lower cost than cable. Born out of the Dish Network it gives you 12 cable channels, including ESPN and CNN, for $20 a month. There are no contracts, fees, or wire cords attached. It’s live TV! You’ll be able to watch previously aired episodes of TV shows through services such as Netflix (starting at $7.99 a month), Amazon Instant Video (included in a $99-a-year Amazon Prime membership, which works out to $8.25 a month) and Hulu Plus ($7.99 a month), Android, iOS, and Mac and PC computers. But if you do not like waiting to see your favorite shows, you’ll watch them live when they air, so long as your favorite shows are on channels available on the company’s network. And Sling works anywhere in the US with a stable broadband internet connection, and video quality is mostly indistinguishable from cable TV. Sling is available on a range of devices including Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV, for just $19.99 per month. And you don’t need to sign any contract, which allows you to cancel anytime with no penalties.
Sling TV is easy to install
To watch Sling on an X-box, PlayStation, Apple TV or Android device, you just have to download the Sling TV app. To watch it on your television set, you need a compatible streaming device such as Roku 3 ($95) or Amazon Fire TV. Sling TV is the first true Internet-delivered alternative to traditional cable and satellite TV, providing live channels from ESPN, AMC, TNT, CNN and Disney, along with some on-demand content, for much less than standard pay TV packages, with no contract or commitment. Unlike some bundle agreements with cable or satellite TV that can lock you in to a service for a year or two, you can ditch Sling anytime.
Sling also offers movies: You’ll be able to stream movies on-demand via multiple services for $2.99 and up. So if you’ve developed a cable-like experience using some combination of Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus or pay-per-purchase services such as Vudu, you might find that you can watch all the movies and TV series you want with just Sling TV. Or you can also combine it with some of those services for more viewing options and likely still pay less monthly than you would for cable TV.
Sling offers channels you enjoy. One of the main things I disliked about cable and satellite TV was that you pay the bill for plenty of channels you never use. Sling’s “Best of Live TV” package includes ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, IFC, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, CNN, El Rey and Galavision. They also have more packages for kids, news and sports channels for $5 a month per package. However, if you’re a hard-core cable TV junkies, Sling’s 16 basic channels plus the add-ons might not be enough. But it’s worth noting that the devices on which you can currently stream Sling TV – Amazon Fire TV and Roku – let you stream additional channels such as A&E, CBS News, History and PBS Kids for free!
The Problem with Sling TV
If you think there’s always a catch — you’re right. There are actually three problems we’ve found while using Sling TV:
1. Often there are ads. As with any live TV, Sling has ads – and you can’t fast-forward through them.
2. There’s no DVR capability. You can’t record shows when they air to watch them at a later time. However, Sling comes with a replay option that allows you to watch shows that have aired within the past three days.
3. It can only be viewed on one screen at a time. This might be a deal-breaker for many families whose members watch different shows simultaneously on various TV sets, PCs and other devices throughout the house. In other words, if Mom wants to watch HGTV in the bedroom and the kids want to watch Disney in the family room, Sling won’t run in both locations.
Sling TV Savings
Suppose you take advantage of Sling TV’s offer to get 50% off a Roku 3. Once it arrives, you connect it to our TV, opened an account with Sling and add the Sling TV “channel” to your Roku 3, it happens in a matter of minutes. No waiting around for hours for a cable guy to show up and connect you. By making the switch, you could possibly save $92 monthly. Buy the Sling Media Box or download the Sling TV App for free today.
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